[Celebrating World Falun Dafa Day] I Learned Falun Dafa in Prison
(Minghui.org) I am a young person in my 20s, and I started practicing Falun Dafa in 2016 when I was imprisoned. One of my cellmates was a practitioner, and he introduced me to Dafa which opened my eyes to the true meaning of life.
Looking back, everything that happened before I obtained the Fa pointed to the fact that I came here to find this righteous practice; it's what I have been waiting many lives for!
As we celebrate World Falun Dafa Day, I will share my experience and express my gratitude for Master Li Hongzhi and hopefully more people will learn how wonderful Dafa is.
I Was Depressed Living An Ordinary Life
I have always been an introverted person, but I always wondered about things such as why we are here in this world?
Is a person's life predestined? We go through school, find a job, get married, have kids, raise kids...are we supposed to repeat this cycle like the older generations?
Aren't we supposed to have a purpose in this world?
I spent my entire middle school and high school years preparing for college entrance exams. When I finally made it into college, I started reading texts by Laozi and Zhuangzi.
I read a couple of pages of Zhuangzi before going to bed every night during my freshman year, and truly enjoyed the beautiful writing and the principles. Later, I started to read Tao Te Ching by Laozi.
I didn't understand the meaning of it at first and only felt that the principles were very deep. I felt I could catch a glimpse of the true meaning of life and be one with heaven and earth.
I found a job in a big city after graduating from college. My salary was low and the work was stressful, and it took a toll on my health.
I looked online for ways to strengthen my body and started practicing Zhan Zhuang (a standing exercise) and meditation with my legs double-crossed.
I felt very comfortable double crossing my legs and thought to myself, “It'd be great if I could better my health by just sitting quietly.” Yet it was impossible to just sit there peacefully.
Even if I wanted to do that, I couldn't. My family was pressuring me to buy an apartment and get married soon.
Even my coworkers said I was wasting my time sitting in meditation. I later quit my stressful job.
I shared an apartment with a friend while looking for a job, but had no luck. I stayed in bed all day and felt that there was nothing to life.
I saw job postings but dared not to apply and was easily upset. I knew the state I was in was not right and wanted to break out of it.
I looked up my symptoms on the internet and figured that I was depressed. I saw a doctor and was diagnosed with moderate depression. I was prescribed medication, but the antidepressant I took had many side effects.
I started throwing up and experiencing anxiety—it took me a month to get used to it. I was then able to go out and interview for jobs.
I took medication for the next two years, once in the morning and once at night. If I forgot to take my pills, I would feel panic with tightness in my chest and couldn't breathe.
I landed a job that paid well so the cost of the medication wasn't an issue, but the side effects slowly caused me to gain weight. I would sweat profusely in my sleep and often found my bedding soaked in the mornings.
Arrested for Money Problems
At my new job, I became familiar with virtual currency and the financial mutual aid platform. I saw an opportunity to make money.
When I first got into it, it was still early on and relatively easy to make money. As long as I had money to put into it I saw a return.
I was able to make more than 10 million yuan a year. I then started to borrow from people as much as I could.
I talked my parents into lending me their life savings, took out loans from banks, borrowed from credit cards, and even took out high-interest loans from loan sharks. I borrowed from all channels and used every method that I could think of.
I was money crazy during that time. I invested almost 800 thousand yuan into the mutual aid platform and, indeed, made a lot of money at first.
However, the scheme collapsed right around 2015 and 80 percent of my investment was lost. I didn't want to just give up so I started getting into other pyramid schemes and eventually lost all the money I had, including the money I borrowed, down to my last penny.
Thinking back, I was truly a gambler who had lost control. I had exchanged all my virtue for the money that I made, losing everything in a blink of an eye.
I was left with nothing but a debt of hundreds of thousands of yuan. I started to borrow from my relatives to pay back the high-interest loans which turned many of my relatives into enemies.
I invested the last 100 thousand yuan that I borrowed from a credit card into a scheme in late 2016. To get that money back, I filed a case with the police.
The police only went through the motions and didn't put in any effort into tracking down my money. I tried everything I could think of but didn't get my money back.
The credit company that I owed money to filed a case against me and I was arrested. I was not scared because I felt that I was only trying to get back what was rightfully mine and didn't harm others.
I thought it would be as simple as making a police report and then I'd be released. Things were more complicated than that due to a new law that had just passed, so my timing was the worst.
As a result, the person who took my investment was free and I was behind bars. I became scared when I was taken to the detention center that night—my parents didn't even know that I was arrested.
I was assigned to a cell of more than 20 people who all slept on a big bed board. The guard in charge shouted at me and asked why was I detained.
He then said it was getting late, and I should sleep first and they would “handle me” in the morning. I was pushed around by the guards the next day and was given a list of all kinds of things that I shouldn't do according to the “rules” of the detention center.
I didn't hear any of what they were saying because I was trying to figure it out in my mind, “I am the victim here. How is it that I ended up in prison?”
The more I thought about how I still had unfinished business, that I didn't even put in a leave request at work, and my parents had no clue that I was arrested, the more I became worried.
One of the cellmates tried to comfort me, “You're already here and have no way of taking care of any business outside of this prison. Worrying is not going to help a bit. You can't fly out of here.”
I Was Introduced to Dafa
One of the cellmates nicknamed “Big Bro” was in his 40's and seemed like a nice person. He asked me to sit with him at lunch one day and we chatted.
He asked me, “Do you know how to circumvent the Internet firewall? Have you used the app 'Freegate' before?”
I told him I did, but I changed the subject. He told me some news blocked by the Chinese government.
Having been brainwashed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with their propaganda since a very young age, I became a little upset about the things he was telling me—the website he cited slanders the leaders of the country and is against China.
I trusted my instinct that he was a good person, so I didn't show my discomfort, nor did I argue with him. He also told me about the corruption cases of political figures Zhou Yongkang and Bo Xilai, which I found very interesting since this was new to me.
I later found out that he was a practitioner of Falun Dafa and was arrested for his belief. Because he had been in that cell the longest, he had told everybody about Dafa and how wrong the persecution is.
All the cellmates and even the guards knew that Falun Dafa is good. The head detainee even said, “You two should talk. You both went to college and should have a lot in common.”
I thought, “Wow. He went to college 20 years ago. It was so much harder to pass the college entrance exams back then.” I admired him for that fact alone.
Big Bro used every chance he got to tell me about Dafa and what it really is. Though I had read some texts of Buddhism and Taoism, what he was telling me were things that I had never read in any book before.
I told him one day, “I also want to cultivate.” He said, “I have some poems written by Master Li Hongzhi (the founder), do you want to read them?”
I said yes, and he took out a thick stack of paper with Master Li's poems neatly handwritten. I read these poems every day during our routine “sitting” time and was amazed at how true these messages are.
I especially was touched by one poem:
“He who is for fame resents throughout his lifeHe who is for profit does not know his kinHe who is for passion looks for trouble for himselfBitter, fighting, making karma in his life”
(“Being Human,” Hong Yin, English Translation Version C)
Thinking about my experience with love, family, and money—all of it had been lost. I felt that the poem speaks the truth.
I started to memorize the poems. Big Bro told me that many practitioners have memorized Dafa's main book Zhuan Falun.
I asked him to recite the book for me because I felt that it could answer even more of my questions. He recited Lunyu and the table of contents and told me I have to read the book when I was released.
Big Bro said, “Do you know that even though you owe so much in debt and are in prison, all of this is because you were meant to obtain Falun Dafa.”
I didn't know exactly what he meant; I only knew that the Fa had opened my eyes to just how big the universe is and that all my worries were gone when I recited the poems.
He was often called to go through interrogations, and every time he came back from a session, I always sat with him, thinking, “He is such a nice person. Other Dafa practitioners must all be very nice.”
Sitting next to him made me feel calm and warm. I often asked him to explain things that confused me and had him tell me about his experiences from his own journey of cultivation.
Everybody thought what I did was not a big deal and predicted that I would be released in either three days, seven days, two weeks, or 37 days, but I ended up staying longer than that.
According to the inmates, if someone was there for more than 37 days, the only way out was through trial. So after 37 days, some started to speculate how long I'd be sentenced to prison.
Big Bro was the only one who told me, “You will be released.” I was okay with being sentenced, but I knew I had to be with this Dafa practitioner.
He was my only hope of having a calm heart, and I was so comfortable when I was around him. I lost hope of being released without trial after 37 days and just focused on practicing double crossing my legs and reciting Master's poems.
I had received many truth-clarification phone calls from practitioners outside of China over the years but never took them seriously.
If it wasn't for my trouble with money that caused my arrest that gave me the opportunity to meet this practitioner, how could I have easily changed my mind about Dafa and started cultivation?
On the 49th day of my detention, a prison guard out of the blue told me to pack up my stuff and get ready to go home. I was so excited; I grabbed Big Bro and said, “You called it. I came here to obtain the Fa.”
He was really happy for me and told me to find a copy of Zhuan Falun and start studying the Fa as soon as possible.
Cultivating in Dafa I Am No Longer Depressed
After I was released, I found out that I was released on bail and a prison sentence was still a possibility. When I saw my mom, I couldn't stop crying, “I used to believe only bad people go to prison. Now I know good people can also go to jail.”
On my way home, walking in the crowd on the subway platform, I felt as if I was separated from this world, that I had risen above and beyond and was no longer connected to it.
Watching people hustling and in such a hurry to get to places, I thought, “Do they know what they are trying to get in life?”
I decided that I would no longer take antidepressants after because they had many side effects. I also didn't have enough money to pay for them.
When my mom heard that I stopped taking the medication, she didn't say anything because I had always made my own decisions.
My symptoms came back soon after I stopped taking the pills. I felt sick and felt like throwing up. I also couldn't eat much or sleep well. I would lie down in bed at 10 p.m. and couldn't fall asleep until 5 o'clock in the morning.
I knew I was having insomnia but strangely I didn't feel tired during the day and only felt that my mind was a little slow.
On the sixth day after I was released, I was able to circumvent the firewall and get on the Internet. I left a message at a website hoping that someone could send some Dafa books to me.
At around 7:00 a.m. the next morning, I got an electronic version of Zhuan Falun and Master's lecture series in Guangzhou on video. I read from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and only got up to have simple meals.
After I finished reading the book, I knew it was a divine book and that I had found answers to many of my questions in life.
That very night, I fell asleep and felt great the next morning. I excitedly told my family that I was able to fall asleep, and my depression was cured.
From then on, I was able to sleep well and eat well, and I stopped sweating like I used to and the world became brightly colored. I had no clue that it would feel so good to not be depressed.
Regarding my pending legal issues, I was put on probation for four months, and I had to go back to my hometown during that period.
I stayed with my parents for a while and went back to the city to look for a job. I later found out that Big Bro was sentenced to three years in prison.
I really enjoy studying the Fa and I feel that it solved a lot of my problems and answered things that confused me. When I read the Fa, I often cried because I could feel Master's immense compassion.
I also cried for no reason when I listened to the music compositions Pudu and Jishi. I later learned that it was my knowing side that was crying.
I also practiced the five sets of exercises every day.
A Few Miracles
Since I finished reading Zhuan Falun and my depression was cured, I found that my view on many things in life had changed. I also didn't have a bad attitude anymore and was no longer a bitter person.
I had kidney stones in both kidneys, and when I underwent surgery that cost tens of thousands of yuan a few years back, the surgeon only found one of them and couldn't find the other.
Though the operation wasn't a complete success, it stopped hurting afterward so I didn't do anything else about it. One night in 2017, however, I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my lower back, just like how I used to feel when I had kidney stones.
I rolled around in bed and was sweating profusely. I had only started practicing Dafa not long ago and was afraid that I was going to get sick again.
I just started a new job and still had debts to pay off. I really didn't have the money for surgery.
I asked Master for help and hoped that I would not get sick. I promised him that I would cultivate diligently.
The pain kept me up until 2:00 or 3:00 a.m., and when I woke up the next morning, the pain was gone, though I still felt weak as if my lower back was made of cotton.
When I used the bathroom during my lunch break, I saw a small white stone in the toilet. I was so happy that the kidney stone had passed through.
I called my mom right away and told her what happened, and she was very happy as well. I pressed my hands together to show my appreciation to Master.
I also gave up my attachment to pursuit and completely let go of the idea that Dafa would heal the chronic rhinitis I had suffered for years. As a result, it was healed soon after.
I used to be short tempered, but I am now a happier person because my world view has changed. When I encounter problems, I know they are for the purpose of helping me improve.
Though things really upset me at times and are hard to endure, I force myself to bite my tongue and look inward instead. When I figure out which one of my attachments caused the problem, I feel happy that I kept my composure.
My relatives didn't have a very good impression of me before because I was in so much debt. As I continuously cultivated and improved myself, they now say that I have changed into a completely different person.
I was not very considerate before and always had to have things my way, but now I don't force my way or opinion onto others. They have truly seen the kindness of a Dafa practitioner and how wonderful Dafa is.
Just like myself, when I first met Big Bro in prison, they wondered, “How could there be such nice people in this world?” Of course I still am very behind compared to other practitioners and need to cultivate diligently and solidly.
I Started to Clarify the Truth and Tell People About Dafa
As I improved in cultivation, I started clarifying the truth to friends and family. I met up with two friends for dinner in April last year.
I knew it was a perfect opportunity, so I told him that I had started doing a meditation practice and that I would tell him more during dinner.
I told them, “I've started practicing Falun Dafa.” Just as I finished that first sentence, one of them put his glass down and shouted out, “Falun Dafa is good!”
I was surprised to hear it from him and knew that it was encouragement from Master. I said to him, “You're right,” and started telling them about my changes before and after cultivating in Dafa.
I told them about the Tiananmen Square self-immolation hoax and how Dafa had spread all around the world.
After dinner, the first friend said, “My girlfriend has rhinitis like you and has to blow her nose all the time. Can you give me the link to the book you talked about? I will ask her to read it.”
I gave him the link and told him, “This website has been blocked in China and you won't be able to open the link. When you go home, download software to break through the firewall.”
But strangely, he was able to open the link directly in WeChat. He exclaimed, “Wow, awesome. I can visit this website directly!”
I was surprised and knew it had to be the power of Dafa and Master's encouragement. The other friend smiled and again said, “Falun Dafa is good!”
Later, the friend who said, “Falun Dafa is good” came to visit me before he moved back to our hometown. I learned that he had been on medication for some illness for a month and wasn't getting better.
I told him, “You now know what Dafa is and you said a few times that 'Falun Dafa is good.' the other day at dinner. You must have a really good predestined relationship. Why don't you quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations first?”
He agreed. I then went online and sent his announcement to the Epoch Times.
I also told him that he could start by reading Zhuan Falun and recite, “Falun Dafa is good. Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” When I talked to him again, he was much better.
Of course, it doesn't always go so smoothly when I clarify the truth. I often run into people who argue and make sarcastic comments.
I usually find my own shortcomings when encountering these things and realize that the more I want to make progress, the more I get stuck and the less effective it is.
When I tell people about Dafa practitioners being persecuted, I often cannot help crying and thinking, “So many Dafa practitioners are being persecuted because they are trying to save you. Why don't you quit the CCP already?”
Of course, ordinary people don't understand it. I realized later that though my hope for them to be saved was good, I wasn't being compassionate enough.
I often get ahead of myself and still have attachments to ordinary people's sentimentality. The closer I am to the coworker or the friend that I try to clarify the truth to, the more eager I am for them to understand high-level Fa principles.
Luckily, even if they don't quit the Party right away, they have now heard the truth about Dafa which will surely make them think.
Over the years, I have experienced many tribulations and interference, but I have cultivated persistently. I gradually came to understand Dafa's principles based on reason and have firm faith in Master and the Fa.
Now I have a better understanding of the deeper meaning of what Master said, “...to understand the Fa from within the Fa.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference in Australia”)
I sincerely thank Master for looking after me. I will cultivate diligently and will not let him down.